A little sliver of light appears on the uneven eastern horizon. You can see the silhouette of mountains against the growing brightness. It won’t be long before all shades of pinks, corals, purples and reds begin to climb into the sky. Brighter and brighter they grow until the sky is brilliant with color. As the colors recede, a sliver of bright orange begins to rise over the eastern silhouette. The higher it rises, the more you have to squint, until you can finally look no longer. You’ve just witnessed one of the most amazing sights in the world- a North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountain Sunrise.
Is there anything more hopeful than the start of a new day, where light drives out all the darkness of the night before? Every trace of the past night’s darkness is erased as the light breaks through.
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79.
These prophetic words were spoken by Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. As a priest, his duties often found him rising early, so the majesty of a sunrise was something with which he was familiar. It’s no surprise that he would use imagery comparing the Messiah’s arrival with a sunrise.
There is nothing more hopeful in nature than the dawning of a new day, and there is nothing more hopeful for the human race than the coming of the Messiah.